That hole I can credit as giving C# the advantage in that tight niche, and stilling the development of the JVM platform in general.
By the time that the rust on JVM improvements were dusted off, all initiative was lost. Java was playing catchup to the competition.
IBM gave up on the first counter proposal, Red-Hat and Google didn't bother to rescue Sun.
So we might even have been left with either Java 6 or being forced to port our applications.